Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/13

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ix
PREFACE

portance: they are the main evidence in our case.

The documents which form the second part of my book contain every personal account of Blake which was printed during his lifetime, and between the time of his death and the publication of Gilchrist's Life in 1863, together with the complete text of every reference to Blake in the Diary, Letters, and Reminiscences of Crabb Robinson, transcribed for the first time from the original manuscripts. All these I have given exactly as they stand, not correcting their errors, for even errors have their value as evidence. The only other document of the period which exists was written by Frederick Tatham, within two years of the appearance of Cunningham's Life, and bound up at the beginning of a coloured copy of Blake's Jerusalem, now in the possession of Captain Archibald Stirling. This manuscript was consulted by Mr. Swinburne and afterwards by Mr. Ellis and Mr. Yeats; but though many extracts have been made from it, it